- I’m very excited to be in Boulder for the screening of the Last Ocean at Boulder International Film Festival. Boulder has special significance for us in that it is John Weller’s home town. It was John who turned up on my doorstep 7 years ago inviting me to the Ross Sea. Last night over a few beers and games of pool we indulged in reminising about the incredible journey we have shared. It’s a journey that is far from over. We’ve had a much needed rest over Christmas but this screening at Boulder marks the beginning of the 2013 campaign.
While here in the States I will also be talking to students at the Institute of International Studies in Monterey Bay about the Last Ocean. After touring the film in NZ and being involved with the camapign domestically, I look forward building a more global perspective on the issue and seeing how others respond to New Zealand’s pro-fishing stance in the Ross Sea.
It will be hard to explain exactly why NZ turned its back on the US proposal and in doing so blew a great opportunity to come to the Ross Sea MPA negotiations with a stronger proposal. I guess I will have to say that we somehow thought money was more important than the 100% pure values we keep telling the world about. The irony of this is that the Ross Sea is the nearest thing we have to 100% pure natural ocean – I wish that John Key (the Minister for Tourism) could cast his eye a little further than a fishing line.
The proposal currently includes large areas of empty-ocean and leaves the richest areas of biodiversity and wildlife (the continental slope) for the fishing industry. As such the MPA proposal is a beginning but falls short of giving the Ross Sea the full protection it deserves.
It’s great movie watching weather here – snowing all day – I’m sure the locals are used to getting out and about in the snow and am hoping for a good turn out at today’s screening. International eyes will soon be turning to NZ to see what we are up to in the Ross Sea. I will ask that they continue to watch and that they don’t buy Antarctic Toothfish.